John Locke

JOHN LOCKE was born August 29, 1632, in Somerset, England, the son of landed English gentry. He entered Christ Church College of Oxford Univer-sity in 1652 and passed through the academic ranks quite uneventfully, later assuming a teaching post at the university. To escape ordination in the Church of England--a natural bureaucratic step toward university pro-motion--Locke took up the study of medicine and was transported into a new world of natural philosophy in which he associated with powerful scientific minds like that of Robert Boyle.

It was through his concern for the authority of the state in religious matters and the Natural Law used to support it that Locke became inter-ested in the role of Natural Law in experience--a curiosity that led him to philosophy, and more particularly to epistemology, as an avocation. Add to his interest in Natural Law the sociopolitical climate of seventeenth-century England--steeped in violent civil war, counter-revolution, restoration, Read More chevron_right